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Cole County looks to buy new vote-scanning machines

FILE - Cole County election officials test a vote counter.
FILE - Cole County election officials test a vote counter.


Cole County is dedicating taxpayer dollars to make sure voting is secure for the next five years of election cycles.

Election equipment typically has a shelf life of around 10 years. In Cole County, commissioners are reviewing vendor proposals in order to get the best technical solution – and lowest possible price.

In the official request for proposal document, the county confirmed it will continue using paper ballots and needs 31 scanners to count those ballots in each of the county’s precincts.

Two scanners would be kept as backups.

Vendors competing for the county contract will need to ensure that the technology includes safeguards against tampering and unauthorized access and that the equipment design prevents unauthorized access to any voter data.

Voting machine security has been a high-profile issue after unfounded claims of problems with machines help fuel questions about the 2020 presidential election outcome.

The county also wants to purchase 55 iPad e-poll tablets and Bluetooth printers and 29 ADA-compliant electronic voting machines. Cole County is also refusing to accept any used or prototype equipment.

Each machine is expected to cost around $5,000.

Article Topic Follows: Your Voice Your Vote

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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.


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